Why We Love Issa Rae

There are many reasons why we love Issa Rae. Issa Rae is making awkwardness not only relatable, but hilarious. She began her road to awkward Internet popularity when she created and starred in The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a YouTube web series. The series was an instant hit, spanning two seasons with passionate fans. These fans love the series so much that they are still campaigning for Rae to make a movie so they can properly say goodbye to the characters. Now, Rae is a New York Times bestselling author of the aptly titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, and she’s taking over pop culture one awkward step at a time.
It all started with a web series based on a character named J, a socially awkward woman with a secret passion for rapping. The series follows J as she falls in love with the character named White J. She gave him the name White J after discovering that she and him were alike, except for the fact that he was Caucasian and male. The series also follows J as she works a job with strange co-workers, a boss that tries her hardest to use African-American vernacular in every situation, and her best friend, CeCe.
The series was, and is, relatable to many awkward and nerdy African-American people who felt that they were often reduced to stereotypes. Before Rae’s web series, there wasn’t a voice or a platform for the people who are both awkward and black. Rae’s web series even helped popularize the idea of web-based content on YouTube, and the popularity of the show allowed Rae to branch off and create other shows. She was also in the position of showcasing the work of other content creators of color, including The Choir, The F Word, and Ratchet Piece Theatre. All three of these showcase the vision of both Issa Rae and her production company of the same name.
There is no denying it: Issa Rae is a powerhouse. She is a true force to be reckoned with. When she felt that she was pushed out of the business after trying to take the traditional route, she decided to create her own. Her success has allowed her to openly uplift other content creators, while helping to challenge the stereotypes attributed to black women. Rae, like a lot of young women today, is proudly wearing her feminist labels and encouraging all women to do the same.
Currently, Rae is on tour promoting and discussing her book, which chronicles her life and experiences as an awkward black girl through nonfiction essays. Rae is also developing a comedy series (which was just picked up by HBO) with fellow comedian and talk show host Larry Wilmore, the creator of The Bernie Mac Show. Rae will be starring in the comedy that will tell the story of a modern day African-American woman who deals with both awkward and present-day situations. If Rae’s fans have anything to say about it, Rae’s star power will only continue to rise.
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Photographed by Kat Contreras

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